NFL Power Rankings: ESPN's Post-Draft Take

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The four-letter network released its most recent list of NFL power rankings. Where did the Bengals land?

Ah, power rankings. An arbitrary list made up by NFL talking heads to create conversation and debate. Not unlike mock drafts, power rankings are both revered and despised, simply because of it being an inexact science and formulated mostly on opinion. It often also shows media bias towards certain franchises.

Well, now that the mock drafts are in the rear view mirror, the newest list of power rankings just had to surface, didn't it? "The Worldwide Leader in Sports", AKA ESPN, released their first power rankings list since the conclusion of the draft. This go-around obviously takes both the free agency period and the incoming draft classes of each team into account when compiling this list. John Clayton, Ashley Fox, Jameson Hensley and others were responsible for the voting on this list.

So where did the Bengals land?

10(7) Cincinnati
Picking A.J. McCarron wasn't about Andy Dalton, according to the Bengals. But if Dalton becomes the first post-merger QB to lose his first four playoff starts, McCarron will be there.

Surprise, surprise: the Bengals are at the back-end of the top-ten where they have consistently sat on many of the different power rankings lists since the 2012 season. If you're confused why the entire blurb centered around McCarron, you're not alone.

Obviously, the losses of Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins and Andrew Hawkins in free agency are all accounted for here, as are the eight picks that the team made last week. While most pundits are giving the Bengals solid grades for their efforts in the Draft, it still seems to be a "love it or hate it" type of class with fans. They addressed needs within their first five rounds, it is just a matter of if they end up paying big dividends early in the season or prove some of the naysayers correct in that many of the incoming class were indeed reaches.

Regardless, if we see the similar success with the Bengals of the past three seasons, expect the blurbs to be complimentary, but still calling Andy Dalton's abilities into question. That has been the en vogue reasoning with the Bengals' rankings on these lists of late.

The Baltimore Ravens were slated at No.13, the Pittsburgh Steelers were at No.17 and the Cleveland Browns were dead last at No.32.

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